Access to Access

Years ago I was one of two people who scheduled 100+ teachers in the huge English program at Rikkyo University. We did the scheduling across two campuses, many classes, and all manner of individuals' requests. While most of the serious work was done with Post-It notes, we always ultimately put everything into Access.

Since then, I have only messed with simpler databases like iData and HanDBase. Those two programs have done everything I need on both Mac and iOS, which normally means keeping track of lists, although I have kept track of tutor mileage in HanDBase.

HanDBase: DB Popup to Tie Fields

After I bought my iPod, I hoped to find an iOS version of a Palm OS database I used. However, no iOS version existed at the time, so I bought two database programs: iData, which I had used for years on my Macs and with my Palm handhelds, and HanDBase, which has been around for a long time. HanDBase offers many different field types, so I tend to use it more, as in the case below.

Currently a student, I work irregularly as a tutor. I use HanDBase to keep track of who, for whom, where, and whatnot. When tax time comes around, I need to know my mileage in traveling to and from tutoring sessions. My dilemma was how to tie an easily recalled text field, like "Home<->Ivy Tech NMC" to the less-easily-recalled mileage. Thanks to the HanDBase forum, I was directed to a quite useful DB Popup tutorial.

What I did was create a second database, "Tutor_Distance," with four fields and enough records to contain all the locations where I might tutor. I filled the database with destinations and distances confirmed with Google Maps. Here are the second database's fields:

  1. Depart: text field with, for me, mnemonically friendly items
  2. From-To: float field of distances, which I've set to just one decimal
  3. Return: text field for where I leave from
  4. To-From: float field, just like the one above

In my main database file, I set the "Departure" and "Miles To" fields to DB Popups; I did the same with the "Return" and "Miles From" fields. For each DB Popup field, I chose the second database then the corresponding field, for which various settings exist; for example, how many characters from the linked field can be brought in. Then I specified two groups, which are identified in the DB Popup field: 1, for the two fields for going to; 2, the two for coming back.

I have some displays ("Views" in HanDBase parlance) to tweak, but now things are working quite well. If I need a new location, I just add it to the second database, "Tutor_Distance," and it instantly becomes an option for the main database.

The following screenshots might help illustrate what I did and how.

When I choose my "Departure" or "Return" fields in the main database, this is the window I get showing options from the database linked in the DB Popup field property. I set the linked database's text fields to display at 50% each, since I no longer need to see the actual distances.


This is what a DB Popup field property looks like: